Texas Rangers: A Cuban Team?
No, there is no talk of a new prospective owner of the Rangers moving the team to Cuba. But will the Rangers soon be a Cuban team?
The well-publicized bankruptcy of the Rangers becomes more of a headache with each passing day. Every day this situation goes unresolved is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
The Greenberg/Ryan group, comprised of Chuck Greenberg and legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, had a deal in place months ago to acquire the organization. However, creditors went up in arms and have delayed the deal, claiming the $525 million bid from Greenberg and Ryan was not the highest bid—simply the bid that MLB executives and owners wanted to accept, since Ryan would remain the team's president.
Creditors were quick to argue that the highest bidder should have gained control of the organization, purely because it would've meant more money repaid to the creditors than from the Greenberg/Ryan group.
Many more details emerged through the months that clouded the water even further, leading to the August 4th auction of the Rangers. Any new bid must enter the auction at no less than $530 million, with consequential bids requiring an increase of at least $2 million per bid. A further detail that emerged over the last few months was Mark Cuban and his strong interest in acquiring the organization, after he appeared to have no interest in the franchise whatsoever a few months ago.
Cuban is known for his radical attitude and actions as owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. It was said that even if Cuban were to place a bid on the Rangers, Major League Baseball would not approve him as an owner due to his radical ownership beliefs. Cuban attempted to purchase the Chicago Cubs last year and it was rumored that his bid was strongly opposed by Bud Selig and MLB.
However, details emerged early on July 22 that confirmed Cuban had expressed interest in placing a bid for the organization and that MLB has approved his request to place that bid.
Would this be good for the Rangers? And for MLB?
Yes. It would be very good.
At the very least, it would be exciting and entertaining. And for a franchise that has only one playoff win in its history, a change of pace and a radical owner may be the spark that gets this young, exciting team over the hill.
Look first at what Cuban did for the Mavericks. Yes, his antics and behavior have cost him multiple fines for millions of dollars. But the Mavericks have become one of the most valuable NBA franchises in the league, the team has won 50-plus games for 10 consecutive seasons, and he brings a fresh attitude to the game. He is not afraid to spend money in order to make the team better. (Please take notes here, Tom Hicks.)
Imagine, what would that type of owner do for a franchise stuck in a rut for the last 38 years? And for a franchise beginning to come into its own and gaining national attention as a legitimate World Series contender? Could Cuban turn the young Rangers into a Braves-like dynasty for the next 15 or 20 years? I think he could.
Critics are skeptical and fear that Cuban would taint the league and the Rangers. It wouldn't happen. Cuban would retain Nolan Ryan and, more than likely, Chuck Greenberg. They would form a front office three-headed monster that would be rivaled and well-respected around the league. The Rangers would finally be seen as a legitimate organization and be recognized around the league as a title contender, year after year.
Mark Cuban has done nothing but good things for the Dallas Mavericks and has helped improve the NBA. Why not let him do the same for the Rangers and MLB?
With all the possible suitors for a new owner, the team could go in any number of directions, based on who ultimately gains ownership. If Cuban wins the auction, you can feel confident that the organization would be in trustworthy hands.
Jump on the Cuban train. It promises to be a good ride.
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